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A Devil in Daylight

A Devil in Daylight

Vorschau lesen

A Devil in Daylight

Länge:
198 Seiten
2 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Dec 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781772331301
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

“You will account for what you did to Audrey.”

After three months in the suicide prevention wing of St. George’s, Audrey Bales is finally coming home. Enrolled at a new school, she plans to reinvent herself with a new look, new friends, and a second chance to be just like everyone else. But the kids who drove her over the edge aren’t through with her yet.

And one of her new friends has an agenda all his own.

“You, and all the others.”

During the day, the halls of Battlefield High will echo with their screams.

“It will never stop.”

And at night, their screams will be silenced.

“Until one of you ends it.”

16+ due to violence and adult situations

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Dec 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781772331301
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor


Buchvorschau

A Devil in Daylight - Marcus Damanda

Published by Evernight Teen ® at Smashwords

www.evernightteen.com

Copyright© 2014 Marcus Damanda

ISBN: 978-1-77233-130-1

Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs

Editor: Tricia Kristufek

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

DEDICATION

For Susan Norman, in memory of all the drama we survived.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

For this particular book, special thanks are in order to nurse Esther Krukar, who helped me out with information on school protocols for students with concussions, along with information on their informal diagnosis before consultation with a doctor.

As ever, I owe a special debt of gratitude to Barbara Posey, Matthew Bohlke, and George Jakopsson, who provided the feedback I needed as the book was written.

And, once again, to my friends and advocates at Evernight Teen:

Tricia Kristufek made this happen, even after I’d given up.

Christine Klocek-Lim gave it the greenlight.

Stacey Adderley gave me a chance.

A DEVIL IN DAYLIGHT

The Devil in Miss Drake’s Class, 2

Marcus Damanda

Copyright © 2014

Chapter One

Echoes

Audrey watched the knife go in. Alex’s Swiss Army knife, from Scouts.

That’s right, sis, Alex’s ghost said. You’re doing it. Good girl.

Blood welled up from her wrist, at first in bubbles and droplets, then in a line.

Ignore the pain. Block it out. Deny it, like it’s not even there.

And it wasn’t. Weird. This was supposed to hurt.

Her reflection in the computer screen showed black hair. And that, too, was weird. She hadn’t had black hair in months. Not since her first days in the hospital.

Nor was she supposed to be seeing him. She’d beaten him—banished him.

She had to saw to break the vein. A small, red jet squirted over her keyboard.

On the screen, Val—her one-time best friend—was reaching out to her. Audrey? Audrey, don’t be dumb. Come on.

Alex stopped talking, stopped coaching. From behind, he held on to her shoulders and squeezed.

She still had the strength to use the knife again, going down from the wrist. There was no pain, after all. She had the strength for that and for one more thing.

She set down the knife in a puddle of her own blood, then picked up her cell phone and took a picture, even as her wrist squirted again.

She hooked the phone to a USB cable and to the computer. She posted the picture, unhooked it, and let it drop. It clattered off the side of the desk and onto the floor, but Audrey didn’t even notice.

She tried to put her chin in her right hand. She wanted to watch the responses. See what Val thought. See what Maggie thought.

Maggie, who had started all of this. Maggie, who had ruined Audrey’s life because she’d thought Audrey had been ogling her in the locker room at school. Spoiled, rich little Maggie Lassiter, with the angel earrings—it had been those Audrey had been staring at—and the countless followers that Maggie called her friends. But it hadn’t been enough. No, she had to steal Audrey’s friend, Valerie Mills. Her only friend….

Putting her chin in her hand didn’t quite work out. Her elbow slipped in the blood on her desk. She felt her face hit the hard wooden corner of the desk on her way to the floor.

****

But instead of hitting the floor, Audrey sat up in her own bed, awake and breathing hard and holding her left wrist with her right hand.

She looked… scarred, but whole.

Her parents had purged her bedroom nearly to emptiness, but her computer was still there, a shadow near the window.

Audrey kicked her legs over the side of the bed and went to it, powered on, and thumbed the monitor. And, amazingly, she yawned, even as her heart began to settle back toward its normal speed and rhythm.

She found her water bottle and Geodon, and checked her clock as the computer slowly hummed to life. Yep, close enough. She took her pill.

Taking a breath, she tried to access her Twitter account.

Blocked.

Instagram, next.

Blocked.

Facebook.

Blocked.

She smiled, rather sleepily. Everything was still normal. She’d just had to be sure.

Sunlight began to peek tentatively through her window. Audrey set her chin in her right hand and waited for it.

Daylight could not come soon enough.

****

Alastair Hutchinson lay flat on his back on top of his perfectly made bed, but he did not sleep. Had not slept.

Never slept.

He watched the sunrise.

We should be looking, said one of the voices that lived inside of him. We’re wasting time.

Why look? he asked. There’s an unsettled account at the school we’ll be attending. I’ve found everything we need.

Audrey is not an unsettled account, the voices protested. She’s alive.

I’m not talking about her, Alastair said. You haven’t been paying attention. There’s another. He laughed, softly. Three days from now, we’ll be sitting in her first period class.

But not as Alastair Hutchinson, he thought. No. As a name she’ll recognize.

The host stirred. We need to move the line, said another voice. This isn’t helping.

I’ve got that covered too, said Alastair. You won’t have to wait long. Trust me.

****

Maggie powered up her new tablet and set it on her knees.

It was a birthday gift from Cody, who was currently half-lying on the bed, back propped against a pillow. Like her, he was logging into Facebook, just as he had instructed several of their friends to do at exactly 7:00 p.m.

She wasn’t concerned about being interrupted by her parents. From the age of thirteen, Maggie had lived in the basement. They granted her total privacy when she was down there, even when Cody—two grades higher than her—came over to study. They could do whatever they pleased.

He shifted, seeming uneasy. Are you sure you know what you’re doing?

You learn a few things in jail, she said slyly. The truth was, it was no more complicated than creating a new account under a bogus name. Going online from a source other than her old computer was a plus too. She’d learned plenty in juvenile detention, but as for how to make a new account, she had known that already.

Maybe we should switch to Instagram, Cody reasoned. That’s where everyone is most of the time, anyway.

Wouldn’t be the same, and you know it.

She didn’t worry about the police either. Two months had passed, and being well coached, she had said all the right things to her probation officer. Surely, the cops had better things to do than to monitor her online activities. There were real criminals out there.

The older girls at Manassas Regional, for instance—not that Cody would ever hear about them. Those tattooed gang bitches hadn’t considered hers a legit crime, like fighting or stealing or drugs. And as she had been warned by the guards upon her arrival, they hadn’t taken kindly to a bully who had needed fifteen of her best friends to drive one little goth queen over the edge.

Maggie had spent five weeks looking over her shoulder. She’d slept lightly—or not at all—positioned herself near guards whenever possible, and actually begged for solitary—and been refused. She could not have fought back even if she had wanted to, for fear of having the rest of her suspended sentence imposed on her. And with no fighting back, there had been no end to the harassment. She’d gotten her left eye blackened once and been stomach-punched in passing God only knew how many times. Complaining to the staff had only made it worse.

On top of having all of her possessions taken from her, being made to wear jail clothes, and only being allowed to see her mom and dad twice a week, there had been nights when she was certain she wasn’t going to make it.

Kill yourself, they had whisper-chanted to her every night. Kill yourself, kill yourself.

Finally, in the last week—the one she had earned by throwing the tantrum in court—the guards had put her in a cell by herself. By then, she’d almost wanted to do it.

She was okay now, though. Or would be, once she set matters straight. It would begin here, on the Internet. For the first time since November 12th, she felt like she was in control again.

Using the fields for first and last name, she became Exile One. For her background and picture icon, she chose a redheaded vampire from Google Images.

I know we agreed on this, Cody said, moving in and looking over her shoulder, "but isn’t that something Audrey would pick?"

Exactly. You already told them the name I’d be using, anyway. Now, you get one. Find some hunky bloodsucker.

Cody found one and became Outcast Nine. It had been his jersey number.

At seven o’ clock, they started rolling in:

Salene Camacho has sent you a friend request.

Hether Robberts has sent you a friend request.

Randal Brown has sent you a friend request.

Allie Wattson has sent you a friend request.

Four. Out of all of them, only four. Some of the others had told Cody they still weren’t allowed on their computers. Most, Maggie imagined, were scared to associate with her under any name. Naturally, Gabe, Val, and Jeff—Val’s stupid ex-boyfriend—were among the missing.

Jeff had texted her, had given her the news. It seemed, however, he was willing to go no further than that. Such a wuss.

Thankfully, the four who had come at least followed instructions well. They had logged on with new accounts, names deliberately misspelled. It was the oldest trick in the book, something kids did to elude parent searches. Maggie accepted their requests, then posted: Good of you to come.

Four little vampire icons flashed pointy teeth as they posted on her new timeline.

Hello. Is this who I think it is? How ya been?

Girl, you gotta be outta your mind doing this, lol.

Hey, long time, no chat. Boyfriend there?

What’s the news?

Cody chimed in: I’m here. Good to see ya. He looked over to Maggie. You want to tell them, or you want me to?

Allow me, she replied, then typed: The news is, she’s home.

At first, she got no response. But before the silence made Maggie and Cody uncomfortable, Salene answered: Took her long enough.

And then, a welcome surprise, albeit slightly overdue: Jeffry Flynn has sent you a friend request.

Better late than never, Maggie said, and accepted it.

Chapter Two

Fairy Dust and Shoe Boxes

January 19th

Dear Gale,

Surprise! Bet you didn’t expect me to keep this little tradition going, now that we’re both home. But you left me with the purple pen and the power. And here it comes, back to you. Tag, you’re it!

Mom and Dad took all my old clothes to the Goodwill. They were gone before I got home, along with my rings, posters, the lava lamp, black curtains, etc. Picture some old bag lady wearing a Slayer shirt, pushing her cart around town. I never would have worn that stuff again anyway, not while I have a chance at playing normal at a new school.

No more cell phone either. But they say that’s just for a while.

I got to keep my music. I still have my computer too, but they blocked Facebook and Twitter, even YouTube. Can’t blame them for that. I guess they don’t trust me all the way yet. Not 100 percent sure how much I trust myself. Don’t take that wrong. Still adjusting.

You should have seen my room when I got home, almost totally empty. Got a new carpet, though—thank God. Mom says we can shop for a few things this weekend, but I know it’s tough, money-wise. Mom and Dad had to pay some of the bill for St. George’s.

Makes me feel guilty guilty guilty.

Shrink won’t be free either, but Dr. Littlefield says I have to have one for at least a year. Terms of release and all that happy-crappy. She said a lot of totally normal people see a shrink their whole lives, like going to chiropractors or getting massages. Nothing new for me—been seein Dr. Compton on and off since I was twelve.

So, we’re in the same boat there.

I haven’t checked Alex’s room to see if they cleaned out the closet. I’m afraid to go in there in case they didn’t. And I’m afraid to ask. I have no idea why Mom and Dad kept all that stuff so long. Or maybe I do. At least one of the parental units still has issues, I think. Not just me.

School tomorrow. And here I just finished the work they gave us at St. George’s. Did you, before you went back to the world?

Battlefield is both a high school and a junior high school. I mean, it’s, like, gargantuan. Four thousand kids, grades 7-12. Even though everyone says Battlefield High, the real name is Battlefield Secondary School. And here’s something trippy for ya: that’s where Danny’s being transferred. He

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